Luxury, economy and space… that’s what just £200 can get you
The PC team had £200 to spend on a modern classic for daily use. Find out what they chose.
Everyone seems to be at it. Buying and selling classics is virtually a national sport. It is certainly an obsession… like gambling. We spend hours looking at ads, or bidding to see if we can find that hidden gem, the one everyone else has missed. The result of all of this intense activity is a bit annoying – all the real bargains have gone. Or have they? You see, while those minty fresh, perfect cars that were badly described on ebay might have evaporated, it is still possible to find classics in great condition for next to nothing. We know, because we’ve just done it. The secret is, find otherwise excellent cars that need a couple of jobs doing – and haggle. James Walshe 1994 Citroën AX 1.4 D I’ve just spent £200 on the most advanced supermini of the Eighties. A bold statement perhaps, but the AX was a world first for a major manufacturer: It was the upshot of a hugely expensive study into aerodynamics, fuel efficiency and weight-saving. PSA had built a car with Mother Nature very much on its mind. Weighing just 640kg, the new model made extensive use of plastic panels, boasted a drag-coefficient of 0.31 and had genuine 78mpg capability. Granted, you’d probably want to avoid crashing into trees and other immovable objects and in this luxurious company,
the interior of the AX is emptier than a naturists laundry basket. Yet prices of this innovative and jolly little Citroën remain mystifyingly meagre.
I was tipped off about my 36,000-mile example by Graham Peake, PC reader and proprietor of the local garage in my Gloucestershire home town. He was concerned about the fate of the car, which had been owned by the same local family from new but was unlikely to pass its next MOT test due to a cracked windscreen. Concerned about who might end up with it (given their low value, AXS are too often broken for spares), I swooped in and promised the owner I would return it to the road and give it the love it deserves.
Windscreen replaced for £75, a thorough service and a fresh MOT saw the total cost of my new car (inc purchase price) rise to a piffling £326.44. And what a car! The AX is not only clever, it’s extremely likable – with pleasing details such as large wine bottle holders in each door. Perfectly French. A lightweight (obviously) all-aluminium alloy 1360cc diesel unit propels the car effortlessly (you very rarely have to floor it) and it’s surprisingly agile in the
This clever engine produces 78mpg. Yes, 78mpg!